The executive director of the Henderson Area Arts Alliance has only been on the job for three months. But Alex Caudill knows his territory. He’s a Henderson native who knows first-hand that there’s strong support in the region for getting more people involved in all of the arts – especially to fill the 980-seat theater.
“I think we need to provide a little more higher quality programming. We need to bring in some name acts, names that people know, to get people back in the door again. It’s kind of dwindled a little bit, our attendance has, with the shows that we’ve provided, so I think that’s something we need to work on.”
He says lots of tops artists have performed in Henderson, including Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Allison Krauss and the Oak Ridge Boys.
Caudill says his other priority is getting more young people involved in the arts. He says he knows the value of the arts first-hand.
“I started in the 8th grade. Me personally, the arts transformed my life. I was a shy little middle-schooler and didn’t have as many friends as I should, wasn’t really involved in anything. I had trouble kind of finding my niche, so to speak. I was encouraged to audition for a play and I did, kind of reluctantly, and I found my niche."
He says performers who come to Henderson usually lead activities at area schools during the day. A summer program gives 60 young people a chance work with a professional theater troupe to produce a show. That program provides experiences from being onstage to directing to helping build sets.